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The Journey of a Career

A Very Brief History

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Larry Cox's journey with drumming began at age five, as seen in these photos showcasing his glorious Christmas gift and giving my first performance for dinner guests on Christmas day 1966. It was the start of an incredible journey that would shape and re-shape his life time and time again.

Fast forward to 1980. Upon graduating from high school Larry knew he wanted a career in music. However, he felt at 18 years of age that he might starve to death if he was to head to Los Angeles or New York. So, he decided to allow himself to mature a bit and save some money before embarking on a music career and joined the United States Air Force.

After basic training he entered a 26 week technical training school, where he excelled at such a level of performance that he was asked to remain at the school as an instructor upon completion of his schooling. He was then sent to a 28-week Air Force Instructor Training school where he received intensive training. By the time he was 19 years of age he was a full-blown Air Force Training Command instructor, spending the remaining three years of his 4-year hitch teaching. This teaching gig also allowed him to have his drum kit, as he was able to live off base. This gave him four more years to sharpen hos skills on the kit. 

When his 4-year hitch in the USAF was up, he declined reenlistment, was honorably discharged and headed for Los Angeles to start his music career.

Fame certainly makes for an interesting autobiography. However, given that I was never famous and that you have most likely never heard of me, trying to sum up my 38 years as a professional drummer, drum programmer, voice actor and entrepreneur without putting you to sleep would not be an easy undertaking, so I'll keep it brief. And I'm okay with not being well-known or famous. I got to do what I loved, made a very lucrative living and never had to deal with any of the pitfalls that come with fame.

While I've worked with many bands and music artists over the years, from 1991 forward most of my time was spent in commercial recording studios and my home recording studios, either behind the drum kit, programming drum machines and sequencers, or doing voiceover work. I also performed in a lot of live shows on drums with recording artists that I worked with in the studio. Most of them were up-and-coming artists trying to secure a record deal. However, most of my time was spent in the studios playing or programming drums and voice acting for recording artist demos, television or radio commercials, movie or gaming soundtracks and countless other behind-the-scenes music projects (and believe me, the types and number of such projects are wide and varied!). I was involved in so many recording sessions over the years that at this point in my life I couldn't possibly put together a comprehensive list of the projects that I was involved with over the last 38 years. To help you understand this, let me give you an example of an average day for me during the course of all those years:

 

Morning Sessions - Car commercial, game show soundtrack and 7 different radio ads.
 

Afternoon Sessions - 4 songs for a country artist record company demo and a video game soundtrack.
 

Evening - Pop singer showcase concert for prospective record labels.

Granted, each day was different, not every day was equally as busy, and I was certainly able to schedule in plenty of days off given the income stream generated from the amount work I was doing. However, imagine me now trying to compile a list of those projects for you from 38 years gone by. To provide a comprehensive list from memory for 38 years of project affiliations would be next to impossible. It's not like I recorded 12 albums with 3 different bands, or voiced 4 or 5 Disney cartoon movies that I could easily list here. Still, you are probably wondering, "But, what types of companies or brands were you involved with in sessions over the years?" Sooooo, without a lot of thought, and off the top of my head, here are some that come to mind:

Ford

Chevrolet

Dodge

Toyota

Activision

Nintendo

EA Sports

Fox Sports

ESPN

Arby's

Wendy's

Microsoft

NASCAR

BMW

MGM

Disney

HBO

Netflix

Sears

Target

Macy's

AOL

PBS

Google

US Army

US Navy

Walmart

Six Flags

Cartoon Network

Star Search

Universal Studios

Caesar's Palace

The Price is Right

Wheel of Fortune

Mirage Resorts

Family Feud

Hilton Hotels

Blue Cross & Blue Shield

A & M Records

Proctor & Gamble

Capitol Records

State Farm Insurance

Island Records

Guitar Center

NBC, ABC & CBS

NHL, MLB & NFL

Dairy Queen

Dick's Sporting Goods

Ridgid Tools

In-N-Out Burger

SeaWorld

Bass Pro Shops

Harper Audio

Smithsonian Museum

Hachette Audio

Alaska Airlines

And MANY more that I have long forgotten or would have to think long and hard about to remember

Then of course there were literally thousands of drumming or voiceover sessions for small business, advertising agencies, music producers, local TV & radio affiliates, corporate clients, etc., that I would have forgotten within months, if not weeks, after such sessions. Approximately how many session are we talking about over a 38-year span? Well, there are some things to consider first. During my initial, let's say, 6 years after I got out of the Air Force, my sessions were hit and miss, as I was playing and networking with people and building a name for myself. I was also touring alot with bands and vocalists, so during those times I was rarely in the studio. So there were weeks where I was busy, maybe 5 to 8 sessions per week. But then I might go a month without a session, so I was playing live gigs and teaching drums to supplement my income. As time went on I got busier and busier with the sessions.

So, for the sake of simplicity and trying be as accurate as possible, lets just do some basic math. Thinking back, I would say I averaged around 10 to 15 sessions a week from ages 28 through 59, spread over approximately 45 weeks per year (I took a lot of time off). That's approximately 450 to 675 sessions per year. Multiply that by those 33 years and we are looking at approximately 14,850 to 22,275 sessions, not including the sessions I picked up from 22 to 28 years of age and sessions that I have continued to do since age 59.

Also, keep in mind that the term "session" is relative in terms of time spent. A session could take 30 minutes or 14 hours. So, while you might think that an average of 10 to 15 sessions a week may not seem like a lot for a full-time working musician, you should understand that most days I was putting in around 8-12 hours a day. Were there days that I only put in 2 hours? Sure. It depended on the project and how many things I wanted to schedule on a given day.

The next thing you are probably wondering is, "If you did so many sessions, how come we haven't heard of you?" That's easy to answer . . . because I never recorded drums or voice for anything "famous" (well, I have recorded drums and performed live with a few people that became famous later on, but they were virtually unknown when I played with them, as mentioned on my "Music" page).  Trust me when I say that there are FAR more folks out there making lucrative livings as musicians and voice actors that you'll never hear of than famous ones you do hear of!

Two other entrepreneurial projects that the proceeds from my career allowed me to launch were DIY Road Cases® and Crepe Expectations®.  

DIY Road Cases® was an all-encompassing instructional system for building road/flight cases. I had been building my own road cases since my Air Force days, so teaching others seemed to be a logical step. Aside from the instructional programs I also partnered with one of the largest case parts and materials manufacturers in the world who made all the parts and materials sold on my online store, which made DIY Road Cases® a one-stop shopping entity for do-it-yourselfers around the globe. I eventually licensed my concept to other case parts providers and then sold DIY Road Cases® in 2018 to one of the largest case companies in the world. If you click here, or simply Google "diy road cases", or "build your own road case" you'll see that my creation is still very much alive and well today.

Crepe Expectations® is a fabulous restaurant in Las Vegas that my wife and I created in 2010. My wife is an amazing chef and was all things culinary and front of the house, while I handled the business end. The restaurant was featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and has been a popular destination for not only locals, but vacationers from around the world. We sold the restaurant in 2016, but if you click here, or simply Google "crepe expectations" you'll see how well-regarded and popular it still is today.

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I haven't worked much in commercial recording studios since I was around 47 or 48 years old (2008/2009). By that time a lot had changed technology-wise and I was able to work from my home studio, as this cut expenses for my clients and made life far easier for me. 

Besides doing sessions for drums and voice, I also embarked on this website project that you have ended up at (I never had a website before this). I have always wanted to produce educational content, but was always too busy during prior years. Now that I only work on select projects strictly from my home studio, I have allowed myself time to create educational content So, although I am still here to provide my drumming, programming and voice services, I am also here to educate, but not in simply in the traditional sense of drum  and voice acting instruction. My aim is to convey learning essentials outside of traditional educational content. Being a successful drummer or voice actor entails far more than just ability. Great talent is a given in order to succeed in such endeavors. However, to become a professional working artist, success entails about 15% ability and 85% of everything else. I'll be covering a lot of the 85% as well.

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